KHS’ Taylor marches in Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps

By on July 26, 2013

KHS student Carter Taylor is spending his summer playing with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. The drum corps kicked off its 2013 season on June 21 and will conclude on Aug. 10 in Indianapolis. Courtesy Photo

KANELAND—Seventeen-year-old Carter Taylor feels very fortunate to be a part of the fine arts programs offered to him at Kaneland High School. Participating in band, jazz band and madrigals has prepared Carter for the next step in his music career: taking on the competitive process of auditioning for the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps.

A fan of the drum corps since middle school, Carter auditioned last year and received a call back audition, but did not make the corps when he was 16 years old. The second time was the charm.

“He worked very hard throughout the year on the judges’ suggestions and won a spot this summer,” said Carter’s mom, Jodi Taylor.

Founded in 1948 as the drum and bugle corps for Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood Boy Scout Troop, the Cavaliers quickly established themselves as one of the best drum corps, resulting in the reorganization as a stand alone non-profit organization. This world-class, championship corps celebrates its 65th year in 2013, and Taylor is grateful for the opportunity to participate in this unique and intense program.

Carter was fortunate to take his finals at Kaneland High School early in order to accommodate the vigorous pre-tour rehearsal period.

May 17 marked the first day of joining the Cavaliers at Benedictine University in west suburban Lisle, Ill. The corps then moved to Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., to finish pre-tour.

Learning and mastering the drill for the team show, in addition to perfecting the moves from auditions last November, has been on the rehearsal schedule since May. Pre-tour ended with the corps first competition on June 21. The chemistry between these performers takes time, dedication and a good attitude to develop as they become a stellar and fluid corps. The all-male community of 150 participants ranges from 16 to 22 years of age and is sponsored by the city of Rosemont, Ill.

Due to the intense rehearsal schedule, the Cavaliers participate in a regimented fitness program that keeps them healthy and injury free.

“During pre-tour, most days begin with breakfast around 7:30 a.m. and rehearsals beginning at 8 or 8:30 a.m.,” Jodi said. “Rehearsals run until 9 or 10 p.m.”

The tour includes 35-40 shows, with travel to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and New Jersey. The Caveliers tour officially began on June 21 and finishes with finals in Indianapolis on Aug. 10

“The biggest opportunity for the corps members is getting to work with a talented and dedicated staff of musicians from all over the country,” said Jodi of her son’s involvement with the Caveliers Drum and Bugle Corps. “This organization strives for excellence and works at a very high and concentrated level.”

Carter plays trombone in Kaneland High School’s band and orchestra and marches in the Cavaliers with a euphonium. He has also studied piano for seven years, sings, and is a member of the Elgin Youth Symphony. Future plans for Carter include majoring in music education and earning a performance masters degree.